You may have heard or recently noticed an on-screen reminder about Microsoft ending support to Windows 7 and Office 10 on January 14, 2020. Despite the pending end of support, NetMarketShare’s statistics showed 36.43 percent are still using Windows 7 OS. If your business is part of this statistic, then you should understand your options and decide what to do before January 14, 2020. Knowing the timelines and options will help keep your business running without interruptions or with an increased risk of cyberattack.
What Does End of Support Mean and What Are the Reasons to Update?
End of support is exactly what the name implies – the support of your PC has ended. You will no longer receive technical support, software updates or security updates.
While you can still be able to use an unsupported OS and software, there are significant security risks associated with running a system that won’t be patched or updated. Hackers are constantly working to penetrate networks and systems, but it seems that older and end-of-support systems are specifically targeted due to the lack of updates and patches.
Recently, Microsoft and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a critical warning for out-of-support systems (Windows 2003 and Windows XP) and unpatched in-support systems (Windows 7, Windows Server R2 and Windows Server 2008) from a BlueKeep vulnerability. This allowed for the exploit to get remote access across a network. A simple update fixed it, but this vulnerability could have been prevented if systems were updated before the end of support.
End of Support for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2
Along with the end of support for Windows 7 OS, Microsoft is also ending support for Office 2010, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2. This also means no security updates on-premises, non-security updates, free support options or online technical content updates.
Customers who use Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are encouraged to migrate to Microsoft Azure to take advantage of three additional years of critical and important security updates at no additional charge.
These are the Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 Products approaching End of Support on January 14, 2020:
- Windows Server 2008 Datacenter
- Windows Server 2008 Datacenter without Hyper-V
- Windows Server 2008 Enterprise
- Windows Server 2008 Enterprise without Hyper-V
- Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems
- Windows Server 2008 Foundation
- Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter
- Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
- Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-Based Systems
- Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard
- Windows Server 2008 Standard
- Windows Server2008 Standard without Hyper-V
Next steps for SMBs:
Now that you understand your options and impacts the updating or not can have on your business, these are the next steps
- Take an asset inventory of the software and devices being used within your business.
- Understand what end of support means for your business and how it will impact your future operations.
- Decide on your course of action:
- Do nothing – If you choose this route there could be an enhanced risk of a security breach due to the lack of future patches and upgrades.
- Upgrade software on current devices to Windows 10 and Microsoft 365 – See requirements below.
- Upgrade software and devices – it may be a good idea to upgrade devices along with software to maximize speed and productivity. In the end, this could cost less to maintain.
- Make an implementation and communication plan.
If you decide to upgrade the software to Windows 10 and Microsoft 365, your devices will need to meet these minimum requirements recommended by Microsoft:
Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz)
RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
Hard drive size: 32 or larger hard disk
Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
Internet Connection: Internet connection is required for updates and takes advantages of Windows 10 features.
You can find the additional requirements necessary for features within Windows 10 here.
If you are having trouble deciding whether to update your systems or not, our experts at Stratosphere Networks to help you come up with a strategy moving forward for your business. As a Microsoft Partner, we are well-versed migrations to Windows 10 and Office 365. Call us before January 14 at 877-599-3999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.